All of us fear something. Most people profess to fear God but I don’t think so. If we truly fear God more than anything, then we will be afraid of sinning against Him and we would be afraid of going against His Will for us. The reality is that most of us humans still do our own thing and that whatever happens we do reap the consequences of our actions.
I am trying to recount and think about the first time that Adam and Eve experienced the emotion of FEAR. Why am I sharing and writing about fear? Well, it has nothing to do with the fact that it is the month of October and that at the end of the month, so many people celebrate Haloween which is all about scares, witches and whatever else demonic that is out there. Oh yes, I am not afraid to use the word “demonic” because I do believe they exist and they exert a powerful influence in our lives when we give them a chance to do so.
I am writing about fear because I do have a lot of fears. One, I am afraid of growing old weak. But the more pressing fear is not making ends meet at the end of each month. When you are starting a business, this is a reality that keeps coming day in and day out. It’s tough to sell market oneself in a sea of existing practitioners. How do I set myself apart from other people. How do I even bother winning other people? Do I really have to win people to my side to get clients and projects? There’s also the fear of failure.
But there’s another pressing fear that most people doing business are afraid to admit. They are equally afraid of their own success. By the grace of God, I am thankful to have survive a year and three months into my business. And yet now that I am getting the hang of things, I am beginning to see that I am starting to fear the reverse, the fear of succeeding. This fear is as valid as the negative emotion of failure. Why?
Having experienced losing a job twice in my life and at one time, I have seen a pattern. I learned to differentiate who my true friends are and who are fair weather friends. I remember that there was a time when I had so many social circles at the height of one of my many careers I’ve had during the last 15 years. But when I moved from one industry to another and was literally starting all over again, hardly anybody was there for me. So what am I saying here? I am afraid of succeeding because soon enough I will have new friends whom I know will not be here for the long haul. When push comes to shove and when the chips are down, I know that they will leave me in an instant.
In other words, I am afraid of getting hurt again. That’s the deeper fear right on top of the fear of succeeding. How strange, because my primary line of work is public relations and marketing which means that I am in the thick of things in relating to people, bridging the gap between clients and their products. Honestly? I am just learning to accept constant rejection from people in one form or another. Rejection is a difficult thing to master. Either it gets to our core being or we learn to realize that we can use it to better ourselves.
When I started my business last year and started to make presentations to target clients here and there, most of the doors got slammed shut though I was given a few minutes and with some up to 30 minutes to make my presentation. Rejection became my best friend. It led me to the following questions.
First question — is there something wrong with my presentation? Is it too long? Does it lack proper visuals? Or is the content lacking with research? Second question — is there something wrong with the way that I presented the idea? Was I too pushy? Was I overconfident? Better yet, did I show a level of enthusiasm and confidence with executing the idea? Third question — how is my body language? My mouth may be uttering things but what do my eyes say? Do my gestures speak of openness or does it relay apprehensiveness? Was I afraid of something?
I don’t think any person out there, even the best speakers in the world ever lose the fear of being in front of people. Most of them just learn to channel their fears into constructive discontent. Many more learn to create coping mechanisms amid the chaos of their lives and their schedules. But I would like to think that many of them have learned to face rejection and learned to appreciate how rejection itself is an act of failure and that we learn much about who we are because as a human being, I know that I don’t like getting rejected.
I still have lots of fears. Yet it is not the absence of fear that I should think about. My fears should not paralyze me. Instead, I am learning to face my fears one at a time. Nobody can slay an entire army in one go and all alone. But armies can be defeated through a careful strategy. On a spiritual level, I am learning to use my fears to anchor on God’s promises. It reminds me to hold on to whatever is true and to keep digging deeper my roots in God’s promises. For only when I have strong roots can I truly walk on water.
These days, I no longer desire to walk on water. I want to run on water and …. let my shadow to prove the sunshine.